Atlanta Ballet's Rachel Van Buskirk is Cover Girl for Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch"

ATLANTA - Atlanta Ballet's vivacious Rachel Van Buskirk, a fifth year company member, is the January 2012 cover girl for Dance Magazine's annual "25 to Watch" feature.

The yearly edition has become one of the most coveted accolades for rising dance stars since its first publication in January 2001. The top 25 list profiles an esteemed group of dancers, choreographers, troupes, and trends to watch in the coming year and years to come. Many honorees have gone on to become some of the most respected and sought-after artists in the industry.

This year Van Buskirk joins 24 of her peers from dance companies around the globe, including American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, New York City Ballet and Bolshoi Ballet.

Van Buskirk was nominated by Atlanta dance writer Cynthia Perry. "No matter the role, Van Buskirk imbues it with musical and emotional spontaneity," said Perry in the article. "With jumps that lick upward like flames and descend like feathers, Van Buskirk is poised to burst into the limelight."

The 26-year-old Vancouver native joined Atlanta Ballet in 2006.

Last season she danced featured roles in Jorden Morris's Moulin Rouge - The Ballet, and John McFall's The Sleeping Beauty and Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. She was also involved with the creation of three world premieres by standout choreographers Bennyroyce Royon, Gina Patterson, and Amy Seiwert.

This season Van Buskirk can be seen in the February Twyla Tharp world premiere The Princess and the Goblin, as well as in works by Jorma Elo, Christopher Wheeldon, and Helen Pickett.

"She has a spiritual dimension, an aura of exuberance that's compelling," said Atlanta Ballet Artistic Director John McFall in the article. "Her whole soul sparkles through her eyes."

Van Buskirk is the second Atlanta Ballet company member to receive this honor and the first to be featured on the cover. Fellow company mate Peng-Yu Chen was selected in 2007.

Dance Magazine has been published since 1927 and is an "influential" American trade publication for dance.

About Atlanta Ballet
Founded in 1929, Atlanta Ballet is one of the premier dance companies in the country and the official state Ballet of Georgia. Atlanta Ballet's eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighted by beloved classics and inventive originals. After 82 years, Atlanta Ballet continues its commitment to share and educate audiences on the empowering joy of dance. In 1996, Atlanta Ballet opened the Centre for Dance Education and is dedicated to nurturing young dancers while providing an outlet for adults to express their creativity. The Centre serves over 150,000 people in metro Atlanta each year. Atlanta Ballet's roots remain firmly grounded in the Atlanta community and continue to play a vital role in the city's cultural growth and revitalization. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Sigele Winbush - (404) 862-2081